About the 2002 Assessment
EPA's 2002 national-scale assessment characterizes risks from air toxics at a particular point in time, (i.e., the year 2002). It looks at human health impacts from outdoor, inhalation, chronic exposures and is based on 2002 emission rates, assuming they remain constant throughout one's lifetime (not today's levels or projected levels).
The 2002 National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment is based on 2002 emissions data from the 2002 National Emissions Inventory for hazardous air pollutants. It produces results that are useful in identifying potential patterns in emissions, concentrations and risk from air toxics nationwide. It is intended as a prioritization tool for further investigation of specific air toxics and sources. The 2002 assessment includes emissions, ambient concentrations and exposure estimates for 180 air toxics (PDF) (3pp, 15k) plus diesel particulate matter (diesel PM). For 124 of these air toxics (those with health data based on chronic exposure) the assessment includes cancer and/or noncancer health effects including noncancer health effects for diesel PM. For the 57 air toxics with no health effects information, only the air concentration estimates (ambient and exposure) are provided.
The 2002 assessment is an updated technical analysis. EPA released the first such assessment in 2002. This assessment focused on emissions for the year 1996 and included a smaller subset of pollutants. A second assessment, based on 1999 emissions, was released in 2006. This current 2002 assessment is the third in the series of assessments that will be updated every three years.